Lost Meaning(s) of the Seventh Day

The presentation will be based on Dr. Tonstad’s recent book, The Lost Meaning of the Seventh Day, which recovers the profound and foundational understanding of God that can be experienced in the seventh day.  He shows that Scripture has consistently asserted that the Sabbath of Creation is the Sabbath of the whole story of how God makes right what has gone wrong in the world.  Attendees are encouraged to acquire and read The Lost Meaning of the Seventh Day (www.amazon.com) prior to the meeting and bring it to the Meet the Author book signing session following the presentation.

September 8, 2012
9:30AM
Sigve Tonstad, MD, PhD, Associate Professor of Religion, Loma Linda University

Dr. Tonstad’s presentation will emanate from his recent book, The Lost Meaning of the Seventh Day, which recovers the profound and foundational understanding of God that can be experienced in the seventh day.  He shows that Scripture has consistently asserted that the Sabbath of Creation is the Sabbath of the whole story of how God makes right what has gone wrong in the world.

Tonstad argues that the seventh day is the symbol of god’s faithfulness precisely when god’s presence seems to be in doubt.  He demonstrates how God, through the seventh day, seeks the benefit of all creation.   Inevitably, this leads to an investigation of how this universal symbol became obscured.

This sweeping work of biblical theology and historical analysis traces the seventh day as it is woven throughout Scripture and the history of Christianity.  Its twenty-seven chapters consider, among other things, the relationship of the seventh day to freedom, to social conscience, to the “greatest commandment.” And to the enigmatic “rest that remains.”  Tonstad engages the move away from the seventh day in early Christian history, the mindset in medieval Christianity, and the sobering long-term implications leading all the way to the Holocaust and the ecological crises in our time.

The Lost Meaning of the Seventh Day will engage, illuminate, provoke, and ultimately inspire readers who enjoy a serious work presented in a style that is “luminous” and a “delight to read.”

Questions worth pondering:

  1. Is the Sabbath primarily anchored in law or in narrative?

    2.  As commandment, is the Sabbath an arbitrary command?

    3.  What, if applicable, is the socioeconomic DNA of the Sabbath?

    4.  Does the Sabbath have ecological aspects or implications?

    5.  Does the Sabbath have anything to offer, or any concern for, non-human creation (animals)?

    6.  What is the relationship between particularity and universality with respect to the Sabbath?

    7.  Why did Jesus conduct gratuitous and controversial acts of healing on the Sabbath?

    8.  Does the Sabbath have ecumenical potential?

    9.  What has been the focal point of Seventh-day Adventist Sabbath theology?

    10.  What do you think the focal point of SDA Sabbath theology should be?

    For extra credit (to readers of the book):  Which word(s) best represent(s) the theology of the Sabbath according to The Lost Meaning of the Seventh Day?

Sigve Tonstad, born in Norway, completed a BA. in Theology at Middle East College and Andrews University (1974), an MD from Loma Linda University (1979), an MA in Biblical Studies at Loma Linda University (1990), and a PhD in New Testament Studies at the University of St. Andrews (2005). For a number of years he worked as minister and physician in Oslo, Norway. He has written several books and many articles in Norwegian. His books in English include The Scandals of the Bible (2000), Saving God’s Reputation: The Theological Function of Pistis Iesou in the Cosmic Narratives of Revelation and The Lost Meaning of the Seventh Day.

Location: 
Tierrasanta SDA Church
11260 Clairemont Mesa Blvd
San Diego, CA 92142
United States

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